The career of the most in-demand male model, Arya Bhat, is a story of magical beginnings — he didn't choose modelling… it chose him! From Kashmir, the handsome young man got an opportunity to begin his career with Lakme Fashion Week and Van Heusen Men's Fashion Week. He's never looked back since.
‘'Born in the foothills of Himalayas, I had no idea about fashion or modeling. I was studying computers in college when I got the chance to become a model. What lured me to this profession was my interest and inclination towards travelling and seeing the world. I wasn't ready to be an engineer and get chained to an 8-5 desk job so I took the opportunity.'' Was he aware about his charisma and the way he made hearts flutter each time he walked out on to the runway, I ask him? ''Ha! Ha! Ha! Well I wasn't aware about it back then but others made me realise'' he grinned.
Then, he gets serious. ''The best career advice I got was 'Don't fight with your circumstances, problems or people. Just learn how to tackle them.' That changed my way of thinking. With God's grace, I've worked with all the top designers and brands in the country. In their campaigns and runway shows. The way I look at it, each show and shoot is an achievement because I grow and learn with every project I sign. It's an honor to be a part of this industry. I have learnt and achieved a lot. I know men's fashion has become restrictive over the years. But male models also put in hard work in their projects so if there was one change I hope takes place in the modelling industry it is that male models get the treatment, attention and respect they deserve.''
Arya is a fitness and yoga expert. What is his fitness regime, I ask the young man who rules over the competition with his sheer good looks, calm air and intelligence. ''To be successful, people feel they just have to work on the body but forget they have to train the mind. That's the biggest mistake'' he muses. ''Hmm staying fit. It's a very tricky question. You have to ask yourself, what is fitness? Let me tell you, having six packs doesn't make you fit; it just means you have less fat percentage. To achieve real fitness, you have to work on your physical and mental well-being. But if we're only talking about the body then the first thing to do is to learn about your body. Exercises which work for me may not work for you. so you have to figure out what works and what doesn't work. Don't just blindly follow something. If I talk about myself, I run one day, cycle and swim the next day, do kick boxing and play squash the third, fourth day may be yoga and I do weight training twice a week.''
He is one of the fittest and healthiest models in Fashion. Would he like to share advice about diet, I wonder? ''I know people who follow diets without proper knowledge; they loose weight but they feel miserable inside. And, they put on more weight the moment they stop dieting. If we keep the following steps in mind then it's easy to stay in shape: A. Eat only when you're really hungry, not when you’re bored. B. Be conscious about what you're eating… what you're putting in your body. C. Develop the habit of early light dinners. D. Eat fruits, vegetables and nuts. E. Don't be hard on your body. Treat it as your friend. Listen to it. Your body will respond in an amazing way.'' And, just like that, he makes a healthy lifestyle seem so desirable and achievable.
Today, the pandemic has crippled world economy and all industries are suffering, including Fashion. What does he plan for the future, I ask as we wrap up the interview. ''To be honest, I'm not planning anything right now. Just enjoying the calmness, clear skies and fresh air. But we should definitely use this time to develop new skills. There are many options online.It could be anything… reading a book, learning cooking, new language, marketing skills… anything to keep our mind sharp. As they say, don't worry about success, just make yourself capable; success will follow.'' And once again, the intelligence far beyond his years, impresses.
Arya Bhat, it seems, is content with his lot. With his career already geared towards the stratosphere, you’ll be seeing a lot more of him on the catwalk, in campaigns. I wish him luck!
— JASMEEN DUGAL